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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Default New Gecko (and reptile) owner



    My name is Lawrence and I知 going to be a first time reptile keeper this Friday. I知 going to get a baby Leopard Gecko and I知 super excited. I have a 20 gallon long tank, 3 hides, one for the hot side, cool side and a humid hide to help with shedding. I知 going to start with using paper towel as a substrate and I will be using an under the tank heater because I heard they need belly heat to digest food. I also bought a UVB fixture as I heard it is good for them. The thing I am confused about is: 1. Should I get another light (LED?) or is the UVB lamp sufficient? 2. Do I keep the UVB on for the full 10-12 hours of daylight for the day/night cycle?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Somerville, MA
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    Ideally you'll be dusting the feeders with calcium and vitamin D3. You don't need the lights at all since the gecko is nocturnal, as long as there's ambient light in the room.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    USA: Oregon
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    Welcome aboard, Lawrence!

    • What exact brand & name of UVB light & fixture did you buy?
    • For ambient light I place a 15 watt incandescent bulb in a 5.5 inch dome. It's dimmed to half power by a rheostat/dimmer. That provides a photo period for your leo and enough light for viewing. I leave that on about 12 hours.

    There are alternatives to past "conventional" lighting and heating. Within the last several years UVB for reptiles is being discussed more and more.

    It's correct that leopard geckos can successfully be kept using a combination of supplements (calcium with D3, plain calcium carbonate, & a multivitamin without D3), under tank heating, and a "plain" substrate. Keepers have been doing so for ages.

    UVB lighting for a 10 gallon is excessive! There's just not enough space within a 10 gallon to safely or effectively provide UVB lighting.

    If you wish to use UVB, here are guidelines for lighting and heating when using a 20 gallon long enclosure: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall. If you also wish to go bioactive, a 36 x 18 x 18 enclosure will be ideal. There you'll have room to establish a substantially deeper substrate.

    14 January 2021: UVB guidelines for a shade dwelling gecko like a leopard gecko (Ferguson Zone UV Index requirement = 0.5 - 1.0)

    Specs for a leopard gecko's 20 long enclosure: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall . . . . . . GU member Marillion with Dr. Fran Baines
    \/ \/ \/ See amended UVB guidelines below for a 20 long enclosure!

    • + Dr. Fran Baines (Reptile Lighting facebook group's lighting expert & DVM) recommends using Arcadia Reptile's 12" long T5 7% Shade Dweller UVB linear tube light with fixture to ensure a .5-1 UVI (UV Index) rating at 12" through the mesh.
    • + use linear fixture with a reflective coating for tube light
    • + place UVB tube fixture over the warm end
    • + place a 50 watt Arcadia Deep Heat Projector (DHP) or a suitable wattage halogen flood on the warm end directly above slate substrate to maintain heat
    • + thermostat for Deep Heat Projector or halogen flood bulb
    For additional details please read here.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-14-2021 at 02:55 PM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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